From Mining to Mountaineering: Industry and Culture in the Lake District, 1500?Today

Do you enjoy hiking and climbing? Are you interested in the history of Britain’s landscape? In this module, we’ll address these topics through an exploration of the cultural and environmental history of the Lake District. We’ll begin by reading accounts by c17 travellers to the Lake District (many of whom found the region terrifying) before considering the causes of a dramatic change in popular opinions about the Lakeland in the c18 and c19. We’ll conclude by examining the dedication of the Lake District as a national park in the c20 and by discussing debates that are currently shaping the region’s future. Along the way we’ll have the chance to delve into a range of important topics. These will likely include (but will not be limited to): the Lake District’s place in the history of environmental activism; the region’s connection with key cultural movements (e.g. the Romantic movement of the early c19); the rise of mass tourism and commercial leisure culture; the development of landscape aesthetics and modern cartography. We will also have a chance to evaluate the effect of the industrial revolution on the Lakes, and we will explore the region’s industrial heritage. The module may involve field trips.